nep-hea New Economics Papers
on Health Economics
Issue of 2013‒10‒02
six papers chosen by
Yong Yin
SUNY at Buffalo

  1. Rational inattention or rational overreaction? Consumer reactions to health news By Martin Browning; Lars Gårn Hansen; Sinne Smed
  2. Intergenerational transmission of long-term sick leave By Josephson, Malin; Karnehed, Nina; Lindahl, Erica; Persson, Helena
  3. Medicare Basics: An Overview for States Seeking to Integrate Care for Medicare-Medicaid Enrollees. By Jenna Libersky; James Verdier
  4. Performance Measurement in Healthcare Incentive Plans By Kauhanen, Antti; Salmi, Julia; Torkki, Paulus
  5. Who Pays the High Health Costs of Older Workers? Evidence from Prostate Cancer Screening Mandates By James Bailey
  6. Would a rational underage binge-drink? By Amnon Levy

  1. By: Martin Browning (Dept. of Economics, University of Oxford); Lars Gårn Hansen (Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen); Sinne Smed (Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen)
    Abstract: We investigate differences in how consumers of …fish react to health information in the mass media. We specify a dynamic empirical model that allows for heterogeneity in all basic parameters of consumer behavior as well as in how consumers react to information. We estimate the model using a unique houshold panel tracking consumption, prices, news stories and media habits over 24 quarters. We fi…nd that the consumers most likely to be rationally ignorant of health effects react more dramatically to health news than the consumers who most likely are well informed.
    Keywords: health information, consumer behaviour, pervasive heterogeneity
    JEL: D1 C5
    Date: 2013–09
  2. By: Josephson, Malin (The Swedish Social Insurance Inspectorate (ISF)); Karnehed, Nina (The Swedish Social Insurance Inspectorate (ISF)); Lindahl, Erica (IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy); Persson, Helena (The Swedish Social Insurance Inspectorate (ISF))
    Abstract: The aim of this study is to investigate the importance of intergenerational transmission of sick leave using universal Swedish register data on the rate of sickness benefits. We find that there is a positive correlation between parents’ and their children’s sick leave. The child–parent correlation is of about the same magnitude irrespective of the gender of the parent and the child, but it is larger the more sick leave the parent had when observed. Furthermore, there is a positive correlation between the sick leave level of the children and that of the parents-in-law, implying that persons tend to live with a partner whose sick leave resembles that of their parents. Finally, a comparison between siblings of different birth order shows that firstborn daughters report fewer spells of sick leave than their younger siblings of the same gender. This gap only emerges in the group of daughters with parents who lack sick leave themselves, suggesting that the birth-order effect is only of importance among women with low levels of sick leave.
    Keywords: Intergenerational mobility; sickness absence; sickness benefits; disability pension
    JEL: I10 I14 I15
    Date: 2013–09–17
  3. By: Jenna Libersky; James Verdier
    Abstract: States seeking to better integrate care for Medicare-Medicaid enrollees need to understand Medicare benefits and enrollee cost-sharing provisions in order to better structure and coordinate the Medicaid beenfits they will be offering to these enrollees. This technical assistance brief provides an overview of these Medicare issues and, where relevant, highlights important areas of overlap with Medicaid, including coverage of nursing facility services, home health, durable medical equipment, hospice, transportation, and prescription drugs. It also provides a brief summary of how rates are set in Medicare Advantage managed care programs.
    Keywords: health promotion, home health services, comprehensive care management, care transition, social and community linkage
    JEL: I
    Date: 2013–07–30
  4. By: Kauhanen, Antti; Salmi, Julia; Torkki, Paulus
    Abstract: By using quantitative survey data and conducting a case study, we examine performance measurement of incentive plans in Finnish private sector health care organizations. We find that the performance measures used in the incentive plans are in line with recent economic theories of performance measurement. The findings from the case study emphasize the importance of choosing appropriate performance measures and designing the pay package as a whole. Inadequate performance measurement leads to incentive plans that do not help organizations reach their goals.
    Date: 2013–09–24
  5. By: James Bailey (Department of Economics, Temple University)
    Abstract: Between 1992 and 2009, 30 US states adopted laws mandating that health insurance plans cover screenings for prostate cancer. Because prostate cancer screenings are used almost exclusively by men over age 50, these mandates raise the cost of insuring older men relative to other groups. This paper uses a triple-difference empirical strategy to take advantage of this quasi-random natural experiment in raising the cost of employing older workers. Using IPUMS data from the March Supplement of the Current Population Survey, this paper finds that the increased cost of insuring older workers results in their receiving 2.8% lower hourly wages, being 2% less likely to be employed, and being 0.7% less likely to have employer-sponsored health insurance.
    Keywords: Older Workers, Prostate Cancer Screening, Health Insurance, Mandated Benefits, Triple-Difference
    JEL: J20 J30 I13
    Date: 2013–09
  6. By: Amnon Levy (University of Wollongong)
    Abstract: This paper provides a utility-based definition of binge drinking and examines the compatibility of this phenomenon with rational decision making. Prohibition of young people’s consumption of alcohol is frequently violated with binge-drinking in groups. The analysis considers the roles of peer-pressure, full price of alcohol and crowding in underage group-drinking sessions and identifies the conditions for binge-drinking by expected utility maximizing members. Rational binge-drinking occurs when the impact of the peer-pressure on the individual member’s utility exceeds the loss of utility from the forgone spending on all other goods associated with the expected full marginal cost of consuming alcohol.
    Keywords: Alcohol; Minimum Age; Peer Pressure; Rationality; Binge Drinking
    JEL: D1
    Date: 2013

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